African American Disparities in Lung Cancer

Lung is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. The incidence and mortality rates of lung cancer are 50% and 40% higher in Black men compared to White men, respectively, and further race/ethnic disparities exist in receipt of treatment and survival. At HFHS, compared to White women, Black male lung cancer patients have the worst survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.41), followed by Black women (HR = 1.37) and White men (HR = 1.29). Our recent retrospective study indicates that differences in SES, marital status, smoking, illicit drug use, stage, histopathology, comorbidity and symptoms explained disparities in non-receipt of optimal treatment and survival in localized and advanced disease. The Charlson Index failed to capture important data.

In addition, recent studies have demonstrated that certain polymorphisms in DNA repair genes (e.g., OGG1 gene) are associated with increased risk of lung cancer. Differences in distributions of such polymorphisms by race/ethnicity have not been well studied.

The pilot study proposes a.) to expand on our current work on comorbidity as a factor in treatment and survival disparities and b) to begin to evaluate the role of polymorphisms in DNA repair genes in race/ethnic disparities in lung cancer risk.

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